Like many of you, after graduating college I thought I had all the experience and knowledge to be successful. Well – wasn’t I wrong about that! The education received during the first year of my career was so impactful that I want to share with you the three biggest takeaways that can be applied to any job or career you choose.
1. It’s about what you do when no one is watching.
Your work ethic will be a determining factor for you in the industry; putting in the work when no one is watching will pay off. Getting into the sales office at 6:30am (starting time was at 8:30am) and not leaving until 7pm (ending time was at 5:30pm) gave me an advantage over my peers. Nobody was going to outwork me! You cannot control everything in life but what you can control is your work ethic. If you are willing to put the time and effort into your career when your bosses aren’t watching, it will pay off. My advice – always say yes to working extra events, reading the book that will advance you professionally (and personally), taking on extra tasks (only if you have the bandwidth), and working harder than anyone else around you. You may be doing this when no one is watching but you will be noticed for your hard work and effort.
2. You are always interviewing for your next position.
This is something that was shared with me early on in my career and is one of the biggest lessons learned. Your leadership team is watching how you respond, what you do, and how you react to the environment you are put in each day. They are watching you grow and excel to see when you will be fit for the next step. As you network and connect with others in the industry, you realize that the industry is a lot smaller than you think. Whether you decide to stay at the organization you are in or move to another organization, someone has a connection that could land you your next promotion. That referral will be handy and vital for your career. That referral will be handy and vital for your career. If you dominate your day, opportunities will come, and you will never have to apply for another job again.
3. It’s okay to not know everything.
Most people who work in sports (especially sports sales) are extremely competitive. Early on I felt as if I needed to know EVERYTHING to succeed because I didn’t have the experience or knowledge of someone who had been there longer than me. Reality check: you can’t teach experience; it comes with time. You don’t have to know everything to do a good job. If you work hard, the knowledge will come. And with time, the experience will come.
To this day, these three lessons are ones I live by, and no matter where you are in your career, these key takeaways will help you continue to grow your career.